An Examination of the Portrayal of the Elderly in Selected Children's Literature
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Dodson and Hause's (1981) ageism in literature analysis form was used to evaluate 40 American Library Association children's notable picture books for younger readers from 1996-2002. The analysis form consisted of 15 questions with a three point Likert scale response formant. The questions focused on the portrayal of the elderly in relation to text and illustrations. Three questions drove this study, a) What is the number of books from the total sample that contains elderly characters? b) What are the various ways the elderly are depicted? c) What are the differences in representation in text versus illustrations? The results yielded an average ageism score per title, as well as an examination of trends in the literature. Overall trends indicated that the elderly are being represented in a realistic manner in the books analyzed.
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